I wish everyone a Rosh Hodesh Tov-a good new month. It is the month of Elul which precedes the onset of the Days of Awe (the real name for the High Holy Days). It is a time of reflection, renewal, and repentance. May this month be a time of insightful reflection as you prepare for the holidays.
I am using the many hours of preparation that I would have used preparing for High Holiday services to work on major improvements to Panim Hadashot-New Faces for the coming year. Those improvements will be officially announced in our new website that will come online on August 30th. The website will feature a redesign and streamlining of our present offerings.
What is Panim Hadashot?
Here is a summary of what Panim Hadashot-New Faces offers. Our updated tagline, “Renewing the Tradition of Shabbat Hospitality” describes our focus and our program. We serve the entire Jewish community, both affiliated and non affiliated Jews. We are led by a Rabbi Dov Gartenberg who was trained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of the Conservative movement. We are non denominational Jewish organization committed to pluralism in the Jewish community and in the larger society. We primarily serve Reform, Conservative, Renewal, Secular, and Cultural Jews including non-Jewish partners.
Our core innovation which we offer to you: We support hosts and hospitality by bringing a special Shabbat experience to your home or community room if you reside in apartment. These Home Shabbat experiences include live music, song leading, or discussion around a meal which you host and invite friends, family, and new faces.
Improvements Reflected in the New Website
Below are key improvements to our program which will be featured in the new website that is coming online at the end of August.
- The name for our innovative initiative will be Panim Hadashot Home Shabbats. Prospective hosts can choose from three types of supported Home Shabbats. We want to give hosts an opportunity to shape a Shabbat experience which is meaningful and exciting for them.
Music and Singing Home Shabbats
Study and Conversation Home Shabbats
Home Shabbats for Affinity Groups
- We have reduced our recommended number of people for supported Home Shabbats to seven including the hosts (It used to be 10 guests not including the hosts.). This number was chosen for several reasons. By reducing the invited guest threshold we wanted to make it easier to host, especially for first timers and people living in smaller places.
- We will continue to offer our Monthly Musical Shabbat Table on the 3rd Friday of the month which is open to everyone in the community, but at a new location. We will be holding these monthly events at WeWork Co-working Sites in Bellevue and Seattle. WeWork offers us larger spaces and more flexibility. Rabbi Gartenberg will work and hold classes at WeWork in Bellevue. Our mailing address will remain the same.
We are excited about these improvements and hope you are too. Most of all we hope you will consider hosting or attending in the coming year. Stay tuned for the website change and more postings about the changes. Feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions, 206 739-9924 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Dov Gartenberg